Recreational Finfish Regulations
|Species||Season||Size Limit||Possession Limit|
|American Eel (1)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||9 in||25 fish|
|Black Sea Bass (3)|
|Private||May 17 - Sep 15||14 in||8 fish|
|For-Hire||May 17 - Sep 15||14 in||8 fish|
|For-Hire Special Access Program (LOA required*)||May 17 - May 31||14 in||8 fish|
|Sept 1 - Sept 30||14 in||20 fish|
|Bluefish||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||10 fish|
|Cod (4)(5)(8) (North of Cape Cod)|
|Private and For-Hire||Apr 16 - Oct 31||19 in||9 fish|
|For-Hire||Nov 01 - Apr 15||19 in||Closed|
|Private||Nov 01 - Apr 15||19 in||2 fish/person (75 lb/boat)|
|Cod (4)(5) (South of Cape Cod)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||22 in||10 fish|
|Dab (Plaice) (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||14 in||No Limit|
|Fluke||May 22 - Sep 30||16 in||5 fish|
|Gray Sole (Witch) (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||14 in||No Limit|
|Haddock (4)(5)(8) (North of Cape Cod)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||21 in||No Limit|
|Haddock (4)(5)(8) (South of Cape Cod)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||18 in||No Limit|
|Halibut (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||41 in||1 fish|
|Monkfish (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||No Limit|
|Ocean Pout (4)(5)||Prohibited||N/A||N/A|
|Pollock (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||No Limit|
|Redfish (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||No Limit|
|Private||May 1 - Dec 31||10 in||30 fish (150 fish vessel maximum)|
|For-Hire Bonus||May 1 - June 30||10 in||45 fish|
|For-Hire Regular||July 1 - Dec 31||10 in||30 fish|
|Merrimack River||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||3 fish|
|Connecticut River||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||3 fish|
|Other Rivers||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||Catch and Release Only|
|Sharks** (excludes spiny dogfish)||Refer to Shark Section. Full regulations at 322 CMR 6.37|
|Smelt||Jun 16 - Mar 14||No Limit||50 fish|
|Spiny Dogfish||Jan 1 - Dec 31||No Limit||No Limit|
|Striped Bass (6)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||28 in||2 fish|
|Tautog||Jan 1 - Dec 31||16 in||3 fish|
|Tunas (7)||Federal rules apply. Consult NOAA Fisheries|
|Weakfish||Jan 1 - Dec 31||16 in||1 fish|
|White Perch||Jan 1 - Dec 31||8 in||25 fish|
|Winter Flounder (4)(5) ( North of Cape Cod )||All Year||12 in||8 fish|
|Winter Flounder (4)(5) ( South and East of Cape Cod )||March 1 - Dec 31||12 in||2 fish|
|Yellowtail Flounder (4)(5)||Jan 1 - Dec 31||13 in||No Limit|
**Rule making is on-going and some regulations are subject to change in 2014.
1) Subject to regulation by DMF and the municipality. Please consult municipal regulations.
2) All billfish species are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork. These species are managed by NOAA's Highly Migratory Species Office. Please consult NMFS for permitting requirements and regulations.
5) It is unlawful to fish with hook and line gear in the Winter Cod Conservation Closure from November 15th through January 21. It is unlawful to take cod from the Spring Cod Conservation Closure from April 16th through July 21st.
6) Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail. The discard of dead legal sized striped bass is unlawful. The practice of high-grading, whereby legal sized striped bass are released if favor of larger fish caught subsequently Is unlawful. Accordingly, it is also unlawful to keep a striped bass alive in water by attaching a line or chain to the fish or placing it in a live well or holding car. Striped bass must be kept whole, meaning the head, tail and body remain intact. Only evisceration is allowed. Permitted for-hire vessels may fillet striped bass for their customers.
8) Cod and haddock rules subject to change in 2014.